Recorder letters: MSG Sphere, community centres and global road safety week

PUBLISHED: 16:54 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:54 14 May 2019

How the MSG Sphere might look. Picture: MSG

How the MSG Sphere might look. Picture: MSG


Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

MSG Sphere wil be a 'good neighbour' to you

Jayne McGivern, executive vice president, Development and Construction, The Madison Square Garden Company, writes:

Hearing the community's thoughts about our plans is important to MSG. But it's also important that we have a discussion based on the facts, so I'd like to respond to Ian Sinclair's letter (Recorder letters).

Firstly, MSG Sphere will bring huge benefits to Newham - thousands of jobs, investment, revenue for local businesses, and improved roads and bridges that better link Stratford, as well as world-class entertainment.

MSG Sphere is not only smaller than both Stratford Central and the Halo tower, but for the most part, also faces Westfield and its link bridge, office buildings and railway lines. We're able to dim and turn parts of the exterior off and would have set operating hours and light levels. To prevent congestion at Stratford station, we would schedule events to run mostly at different times than rush hours; as well as being good neighbours, we want to ensure our guests have a great experience, which they wouldn't if they were stuck in long queues!

We offered some time ago to meet with the group Mr Sinclair represents and hope that offer is accepted soon.

We're delighted at the support we've already received, and I'd encourage anyone who wants to find out more about our plans to visit:

Community centre support

Daulat Ram Chadda, Upton Park, full address supplied, writes:

As a Newham resident for many years I would like to congratulate the planning committee on giving approval for two new community centres.

I was distressed when the previous council administration agreed to pull down two thriving centres, the Hartley Centre and the One Love Centre. Our communities, and our young people in particular, need places where they can meet for learning and recreation.

I am a little surprised that the planning committee's thoughtful decision has aroused so much criticism with one council official actually using the pages of the Recorder to imply that the councillors don't know what they are doing - an accusation which it seems that officials always make when councillors intervene on the side of the people!

I hope that the planning committee will continue to act in the interests of local people and not be bullied by anyone!

You may also want to watch:

Opposition to Sphere plan

David Donoghue, full address supplied, writes:

Ian Sinclair rightly points out (last edition) that residents are concerned about the Sphere but it might be worth spelling out the scale of the disaster before us and why we need to take action now!

The proposal is for a vast 25,000 capacity venue in the heart of our urban residential community in Stratford.

It would hold up to three events per day bringing in 75,000 extra people here for a minimum 300 days year into an area and overstretched travel system that cannot cope even now.

If approved the Sphere would mean:

- Local businesses destroyed

- Health and lives of thousands of residents ruined - for generations to come

- Daily dangerous crowds at Stratford and Maryland stations

- Constant traffic, bus and parking chaos, congestion and delays.

Is this what we want on a site that was, pre-Olympics, publicly owned and destined for desperately needed social housing? A shameful legacy for all those who put their heart and soul into making the Olympics great.

Global Road Safety week

Unmesh Desai, London Assembly Member for City and East, writes:

This week marks the UN's Global Road Safety Week, and it comes as a reminder that we all have a part to play when it comes to reducing the risks faced by pedestrians and all road users.

The latest Transport for London (TfL) data shows that in 2017 149 people were tragically killed or seriously injured on Newham's streets.

This is why TfL is implementing its Vision Zero for London plan which aims to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries from our transport network by 2041. The plan focuses on introducing lower speed limits, improving safety at junctions and imposing more rigorous standards on buses and HGVs.

However, as a community, it also falls to us to remain vigilant when using the roads and to reflect more often on the risks we pose to others, as well as educating the next generation of Londoners.

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